Fairina Cheng is an independent designer who believes that in jewellery, just as in life, there are no rules. She specialises in unconventional designs for rule breakers and story makers. These are people who are not served by the traditional jewellery stores and are not satisfied with stock-standard, mass-market accessories. Fairina has created hundreds of bold story-worthy pieces for customers all over the world, from a ring shaped like a fish to an engagement ring inspired by Austrian art and architecture.

Cheng, however, has not always been in love with jewellery, “I was never all that interested in jewellery because I had only seen the kind displayed in shopping mall windows and chain stores,” she said. “It wasn’t until I was in my mid-teens that I discovered a passion for body jewellery. My jewellery box started filling up with all sorts of weird and wonderful pieces as I collected piercings to wear them in. That’s when I realised that jewellery didn’t have to look a certain way. Making unconventional jewels is fuelled by the part of me that believes everyone should be free to determine who they are, regardless of who other people think they should be. That’s something that strongly infiltrates my beliefs and the way that I design,” said Cheng.

Cheng’s story begins when she would work long hours at a full-time office job and decided to enroll in an evening jewellery course to encourage herself to leave work on time. “At that point I was just curious, but it wasn’t long before I fell absolutely in love with the process of manipulating metal,” she said. “Soon after, I enrolled in a two-year contemporary jewellery design course, followed by a three-year course in commercial jewellery manufacture. I’m not the kind of person to take big risks. So diving head first into a massive career shift was a bit out of character,” said Cheng.

When talking about her customers Cheng says that they are the kind of people who are not satisfied with stock-standard, mass market accessories and recognise that the world is lacking bold, story-worthy jewellery. “Designing engagement rings is fun, especially because of the personal stories that they can hold. As the type of jewellery that is worn for life, they are the perfect pieces to weave symbols of personal history into. It’s incredibly rewarding being able to create jewellery that people love forever. It’s not just about creating a sparkling engagement ring. It’s about creating a piece of story-worthy jewellery that couldn’t have been made for anyone else but its owner,” Cheng said.

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